The Mountain under the marble Moon speaks to that blind assassin whose cold shards impinge upon a brave rider’s heart, and asks:
“Why dost thou not strike a flame from off thy flinty eyes and lend a light to this lost child that wends through thickets of devils to reach the gardens of her gods?”
“Fool!” cries the Moon in pale fury, “the devils are her gods and hence, my stony countenance notwithstanding, I refrain from giving aid to those who seek her bitter demise.”
The rider unaware of all but her own desire, puzzled o’er the Moon’s cold stare and the Mountain heaving ‘neath her horse’s feet as if to urge her retreat, yet rides on breathing, “Brotherhood for all!”
Now she hears a melody bewitching strong as near a tomb o’erlaid with dew she spies a stranger with a grinning mask of Pharaoh’s gold singing, “Brotherhood for all,” and she hastily stops short.
Unease strikes her restless heart, she wipes her fevered brow glad for once of the Moon’s restraining sight, the Mountain’s sudden shadowed dips, and decries the siren’s call that had led her thus on such false hope.
For that golden mask she knew had enslaved far more than greed or fame, and hid a braggart’s deceiving face to lead to doom all those who brotherhood seek yet flinch to own the One who came as brother to die upon a cross.
The Moon shone brightly now she turned, still breathing, “Brotherhood to all,” and a Mountain toad among sweet violets croaked when dawn came glistening o’er the dew as the Sun, once dark to see its Maker’s pain, now sang a song of life.
I’ll meet you in the goblin grove My love, if you should ask As if to test me with a task My love for you to prove.
My fears and frights I will forget In truth, that you may not be grieved; I’ll hold aloft no blame, nor false regret, In truth my love you’ve ne’er believed.
Should I die to prove love true, My spirit uncowed by ghosts that roost O’er lazy bones in goblin’s brew, My spirit on All Souls morn be loosed
To haunt you through and through!
Written in honor of Christina Rossetti, a Christian poet who is well known for her work as a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of English painters, poets, and art critics, founded in 1848. Every year when Halloween comes round her long poem, The Goblin Market, makes the rounds around the world to spook children and adults both! Shay’s Word Garden List engages us to pick three words or more from words she’s chosen from Rossetti’s poetry and Sammi’s 13 Days of Samhain for Day 2 prompts us to use the phrase “Lazy Bones.”
“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” — Plato “They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.” — 2 Peter 2:15 (NIV)
You set me a riddle of romance, Kindly Moon, a beguiling trap by the waters of Babylon where Cartier trinkets line red-bowed caskets made in China riding on Charon’s ferry
by the waters of Babylon where I hung up my Guccis like spangled semaphores testifying to the Sinai fire on a holy mountain while sipping Florentine wine in D.C.
You sent me a Utopian dream of Jerusalem under kindly eyes before my breakdown, where I dwelt perennial in the tongues of state -craft, sightless as a stone gargoyle with carbonized
hate, when home after home, city after city I visited, inflaming tribal sigils, leavening in unguarded hearts dystopias in abandoned strollers, palaces of discontent, malodorous diffusion, contentious, disfiguring.
So now I frame you, with Pyrrhic ruins, dead-to-rights from my watery bier with the very crimes you silver-framed me in Chicago (Kabul or Kiev) where all roads meet with a gunshot and a cry.
*The October full moon is known in China as the Kindly Moon.
He said I like to jazz the sky Sometimes, you know See me some hardcore Detroit Drummer overdosing it Like intensely On proximal melodies Ghosting me some romantic moonlight Jigging up this wasteland Taking an axe to all the quotidian brainiac Entanglements of pigeon-freaking Sh**—
She said Brick it up, man, I’m not one of your ratty here-today- Gone-tomorrow charm-school Friends on anesthesia for the last stages Of their latest art-appreciation-activism Veering destitute of anything but ego- Maniacal mimetic devolution into hedonistic He**—
He said I want— She said I want—
They said —you
And the woman on the bench said That’s a wrap.
You can blame this beat offering on the “absurdist” mood I’m in right now. But don’t leave out Shay’s Word Garden and her celebratory list of randomly chosen words from the first issue of the recently returned CREEM magazine, known for its irreverent presence on the music scene.The word list from which we are to pick at least three for use, is as follows: anesthesia, axe, brainiac. brick, charm, Detroit, drummer, ghost, hardcore, intensely, jazz, overdose, pigeons, proximal, ratty, romantic, stages, transmissions, veering, wasteland. For more or less random poetry, check out dVerse’s OLN hosted by Björn.
“Without hope we live on in desire.” Sanza speme vivemo in disio.
Dante, Inferno, Canto IV, line 42
Love ran through his island heart From springes freed took flight Left swallows’ cries of yesteryears Desire-torn in apple-bright
Bone-white his wings that beat the air And strain bent low his neck Wind beat hard his sinews bare Yet Hope grew clear his sight
Quiet-warmed as kingly deer by brook Calm shattered shivers of doubt Drawn unseen through cloud and dark Dew-quenched his thirsting heart
Love and Hope together sang He heard their various strain Not far the wing-breadths that remained To reach the One he loved.
“That without hope we live on in desire” The pagan poet found But pity more each one whose fire Burns for themselves alone.
Before Canto 4 of the Inferno where the pilgrim Dante is introduced to the virtuous pagans among whom is his guide through Hell, the poet Virgil himself, Dante first crosses the gate of Hell whereon he sees inscribed, “Abandon hope all who enter here” (Canto 3). Here, he sees the first sinners in Hell, a craven company who lived for themselves, filled with envious desires, whom Virgil describes as “the sorry souls of those who lived without infamy or praise. They are mingled with that base band of angels who were neither rebellious nor faithful to God, but stood apart.” Being disengaged from the battle, this endless line of souls have no hope of death’s oblivion, “mercy and justice disdain them. Let us not speak of them, but look, and pass on” (trans. Charles S. Singleton). Virgil won’t even name them for they have reduced reality, reduced the world to a show, a spectacle for their own amusement. These rage and wail as swarms of stinging wasps and flies follow them and worms engorge on their blood. In contrast the virtuous pre-Christian pagans whom Dante meets next in Limbo live in a bucolic garden, their great sadness, desiring yet remaining apart from God.